Monday, March 11, 2013

The Leo Bracket

By Jeremy Conlin

Alright, here we are - the last bracket to be whittled down to its own Final Four. When we're done here, we'll be left with The Suite Sixteen. At that point, it won't be long before Joe and I drop the gloves and argue about who The Bro-sen One is. The Bro-est of the Bros. The Brolander. Let's not waste time.

Round 1

1. Leo DiCaprio vs. 16. A.J. McCarron

Personally, I think Leo is the most overrated No. 1 seed in the field. JT is amazing at everything he does. He could take up stage magic and make Penn & Teller look like amateurs. Tom Brady is a dominant athlete and has a supermodel wife. The Rock is The Mother[expletive deleted]ing Rock (no explanation needed). Leo, understandably, is a huge moviestar. But if you look at the movies he's done recently, several of them have semi-flopped - J. Edgar, Revolutionary Road, and Body of Lies didn't even double their budgets (the admittedly arbitrary benchmark for unquestioned success. He killed it (literally) in Django Unchained, and while Inception was a pretty incredible movie, there wasn't much about Leo's performance that couldn't have been duplicated by 10-12 other big-name actors. If there's any No. 1 seed that could get upset early, this is the one.

That being said, he's not losing to A.J. McCarron. It's one thing to have a hot girlfriend. It's another thing entirely when your girlfriend is reaching your level of fame just by being hot.

Winner: Leo DiCaprio

8. Jon Hamm vs. The Lonely Island

This is a tougher call than it appears at first glance. Yes, while Jon Ham is woefully under-seeded at No. 8 due to the depth in the acting categories (other 8-seeds: Kobe Bryant, Charlie Sheen, and Jon Bon Jovi), the Lonely Island gives him a decent run for his money by virtue of (a) being three people instead of one, but more importantly, (b) getting guest spots from Jessica Alba, Blake Lively, Michael Bolton, T-Pain, Akon, Molly Sims, Jamie Lynn-Sigler, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Adam Levine, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Natalie Portman, and, yes, Demi-God himself, Justin Timberlake.

However, does The Lonely Island get bonus points for brushing shoulders with those folks, or penalized because they don't make this tournament without the weight of those guest appearances? I lean towards the latter.

Winner: Jon Hamm

4. Adam Levine vs. 13. Patton Oswalt

I really feel bad for the stand-up comedians we included here. Under normal circumstances, I would love to have their level of success. But going up against dudes like Adam Levine just isn't fair. And I don't even LIKE Adam Levine. But every female between the ages of 18-29 does, so it's a no-brainer.

Winner: Adam Levine

5. Barack Obama vs. 12. Alec Baldwin

This looks like the first instance where the depth of the actor category really comes back to bite them. If we re-seeded every participant straight from 1-64 (instead of going 1-16 in each category), Baldwin would probably find himself as a much higher seed. But we did it this way, and now he's running into Barack Obama, who scores as high on the Presidential Bro Scale as any Commander-in-Chief in history (only JFK and Clinton are in the same ballpark). I love Baldwin, but come on, let's be serious here. It's POTUS.

Winner: Barack Obama

6. Christopher Nolan vs. 11. Christian Bale

Batman vs. The Guy Who Saved Batman From The Depths of Joel Schumacher Hell.

I'm going to ignore all other accomplishments from the career of either one of these men, just because Batman trumps everything else combined. But who do we want to reward? The guy who actually played Batman in the flesh, or the guy without whom, Batman would not have made the comeback he has? It's a real chicken-egg argument, and not one that I totally feel comfortable making a definitive call on. Batman might have been able to survive without Bale, but could it have survived without Nolan? I don't know.

At the end of the day, though, only one of these guys is actually Batman.

Winner: Christian Bale

3. Tiger Woods vs. 14. Anthony Kiedis

The more I think about it, this would have even been a blowout in 1999 following the release of Californication. Tiger was starting a 264-week run as the #1 golfer in the world, becoming arguably the most bankable active athlete of the era. It's even more of a blowout now that RHCP haven't really been relevant for five years.

Winner: Tiger Woods

7. Johnny Manziel vs. 10. Prince

This is where the age argument takes a weird turn. Yes, Manziel is younger, meaning he has more of his prime ahead of him, but in this case, it also means that he has a smaller following. Yes, he won the Heisman Trophy, but that only matters to people who care about college football. Prince is (literally) a rock star on a worldwide scale, and has been for the better part of the last 35 years. Plus, the dude looks like he hasn't aged a day since 1988. That gives him a huge leg up.

Winner: Prince

2. Joel McHale vs. 15. Daniel Day-Lewis

Day-Lewis is a force of nature, but that force of nature is limited to when he's on a film set and the cameras are rolling. Once that stops, he's just kind of a normal dude. And there's nothing that great about being a normal dude. We're all normal dudes already. Day-Lewis gets penalized simply by the nature of the competition, which isn't totally fair, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Winner: Joel McHale

Round 2

1. Leo DiCaprio vs. 8. Jon Hamm

Leo, as outlined earlier, is an overrated No. 1. Hamm, meanwhile, is a wildly underrated No. 8. We kind of had to seed Leo at No. 1 because, well, he's Leo. He gets nominated for Oscars and dates supermodels. But Jon Hamm has his own perks - he gets to walk on set and play Don Draper every day, and Don Draper is easily the coolest TV character of the last 10 years - possibly ever. Plus there's everything else - he's the best SNL host of this generation that doesn't have a name that rhymes with "Limberwake," he got a cameo role in The A-Team that was a clear set-up for a sequel (which is now not going to happen, but that almost makes it cooler), as well as cameo roles in Sucker Punch and Bridesmaids. On top of that, he's just seems to be the most gregarious, affable guy on the planet - just watch any of his appearances on late-night shows. He is the ultimate good dude. And in the first major upset of the tournament, he moves on to The Suite Sixteen.

Winner: Jon Hamm

4. Adam Levine vs. 5. Barack Obama

Consult Levine's last matchup when I said I didn't even like him.

Then consult the fact that Barack Obama is the goddamn President of the goddamn United goddamn States.

Winner: Barack Obama

3. Tiger Woods vs. 11. Christian Bale

Tiger Woods had a huge sex scandal. Christian Bale played Batman.

Winner: Christian Bale

2. Joel McHale vs. 10. Prince

Prince is Chris Rock's favorite musician. I feel bad for the raw deal that comedians got in this bracket, so I'm giving Prince some bonus points there.

But really, it comes down to the fact that Prince is a rock star that is spanning multiple generations with his coolness. Yes, Justin Timberlake and Kanye and Jay-Z are big names, but are there 40-year olds that geek out over those guys? Maybe that's a disingenuous argument, just because pop music is the only art form that is marketed exclusively towards young people, but Prince seems to transcend age with an inherent sense of cool - something that isn't matched by any other traditional rock stars (like Mick Jagger or Paul McCartney or Bono). Because of that, I have to give the nod to Prince in another upset.

Winner: Prince

And below we have the updated Leo Bracket. The Suite Sixteen will start tomorrow.